1 August 2016

Godfrey Oyeniran - Expat in Hong Kong

Godfrey Oyeniran - Expat in Hong Kong

Q: Where are you originally from?
A: London.

Q: In which city are you currently residing?
A: Hong Kong.

Q: What do you do in your new city?
A: My background is within the wealth management space, though I recently set up a financial coaching business (www.spiritworth.com). This is aimed at empowering individuals to take better control over their personal finances, including finance considerations when relocating to Hong Kong from the UK.

Q: How is the quality of life in your new city in comparison to that of your home city?
A: Overall it compares well but I guess it depends on what’s most important to you. Hong Kong is so scarily efficient at times, incredibly safe, easy for making friends, brilliant for having a social life when you have kids (apparently), you’re never really that far away from a beach, a great springboard for trips around Asia, and it offers some amazing hikes and skylines. And the warmer weather, regardless of humidity, works wonders. That said, London is far better at the “soft” stuff – art galleries, theatres, live music, museums, and exhibitions. And, let’s face it, few places match London in terms of diversity and character. Hong Kong has some decent bars and restaurants but nowhere near the depth. London is also far better for watching top quality sport, though Hong Kong’s very decent if you want to participate in sport, almost regardless of your age.

Q: How would you rate the healthcare system in which you are currently enrolled?
A: You get what you pay for as far as I see. Private healthcare plans seem pretty good and efficient, even if it does seem overly thorough – I went in with a sore finger and left with X-rays, specialist follow ups and bags of tablets. I’m not sure how good the service is if you aren’t covered, but I don’t think it’s a match for the National Health Service.

Q: How does the cost of living compare to that of your home city?
A: The most obvious cost disparity is accommodation. London isn’t a cheap city to live in, but in terms of bang for your buck you definitely get more for your money there. I’ve seen some eye-watering prices here. Running a car doesn’t come cheap either. Beyond that, there’s the obvious price inflation for products expats are used to from their home countries. But you can get some real value thinking more “locally” and using the goods and services that there’s plenty of demand for. In other words, a tin of baked beans is twice the price of in the UK, while public transport is so much cheaper than London.

Q: Did you use a relocation company to help you with your move?
A: No, I pretty much turned up with a couple of suitcases, a guitar and my passport.

Q: How easy or difficult was the relocation process?
A: The company I worked for at the time did most of the heavy lifting in terms of a work visa, finding me somewhere to live initially etc. So from a practical perspective it felt fairly easy.

Q: Did you move here with any family members?
A: No.

Q: What is your favourite mobile app which you use to aid you in your expat life?
A: Hong Kong GeoClicks.

Q: What is one piece of advice you’d like to offer a new expat in your new city?
A: If I knew back then what I know now….It’s an incredibly easy town to live in so embrace it and don’t feel daunted by the move. When you arrive stack up on discount cards, don’t turn down social invites when you’re bedding in and keep asking other expats for tips – we’ve all been there and will always pay it forward.